Cluster Analysis


Designed as a teacher training workshop for Thornden Creative Expo.

Cluster Analysis: the proposal
Cluster Analysis is a simple particpatory installation project that focuses on selection, ordering and feedback, as opposes to a traditional visual aesthetic. The intention is to free the particpants from working to a preconceived outcome, and to allow them to respond to the needs of the materials. The outcome will be a full-room installation that grows in an organic self-organising way.

For the sculptural project the participants will be provided with three different sizes of cane, that have varying degrees of rigidity. Essentially, they will be plotting points in space, looking for ways in which to link, expand and build.

During the process the construction will become dominated by the support needs. As the work grows in ambition, the materials will increasingly control the builders.

How the materials get used, and how they are interpreted is really up to the participants. The main aim is to encourage participants to focus on building connections.
The structure will be made from a lattice-work of small canes and skewers, stuck into potatoes. This creates a stable, easy to make composite form similar to atomic-structure models. The work is light-weight and self-supporting, requiring no fixing to the ground.

It is open-ended in nature, meaning that it’s final form will be born out of the public collaboration. The outline of it will be guided by the artist to ensure it meets the basic aims. Beyond that, the participants will have the opportunity to experiment and play with the building process.

It is non-skill and non-age specific. All people can work on it: the technical process is a simple as putting a skewer into a potato.
The ‘completion’ of the work will be largely dependent on the volume of participants. The images above shows a similar version which took 3 days and 12 people. Given the greatly reduced size of the installation location, it is reasonable to expect a very rapid and complete build over a 2 hour time-scale.

Due to the easily definable form of the work, it is simple to build to foot-flow requirements. The work will be sited giving clear access around for large groups of people.
Summary of logistics

Due to the open-ended nature of the work, the notion of completion is not appropriate. The work can look effective after a a very short period of time with only a few participants. We are aiming for a successful product after one hour with a small number of participants. Given the open-ended nature of the structure, I think it would be most interesting, and provide the best contribution to the day if the second session continues to build upon the work of the first session.

The dimensions are flexible. The work will be defined by the architecture of the room.

Construction material
The work will be made from all natural materials: Potatoes, garden sticks and bamboo skewers

This is variable. Depending on how careful this is done, it could take up to a couple of hours.
If the materials are dismantled, ie spuds and sticks separated for repeat use/ recycling etc, the time frame is longer.
If the work is ‘grabbed and dumped’ ie into a skip/bin it should be possible to clear up in less than an hour.